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Xero vs Surf for someone with minimal accounting knowledge

  • 14-11-2022 5:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ Myles45


    I'm looking to venture into cloud accounting having been using XL for the last 20 years as a sole trader.

    My accountant originally set my spreadsheets up & I have used them pretty much as they were with occasional tweaks for VAT changes & more recently changes required relating to Brexit! (I occasionally purchase odd bits of stock from the UK & have a software subscription based there).

    My knowledge on accounting is purely based on just what I need to know to populate the XL sheets & do my VAT returns. Accountant does my yearly tax return.

    I do approx. 20-30 sales invoices per month & 15-20 purchase invoices per month.

    I've looked at previous posts here & elsewhere comparing both Xero & Surf & am unsure which would suit my particular situation best.

    They're both supposedly user friendly with a fair amount of online videos to help learn & seemingly both do more or less the same.

    From what I understand Xero seems to have more bells & whistles but I don't know if I'd actually need them or not. I know one issue with Xero was the integration with Irish banks since Brexit, but I believe this has very recently been dealt with & they now have that back working. Also the integration with Irish VAT returns & RTD's but I gather this also has been sorted with the addition of 3rd party apps.

    Surf on the other hand is obviously designed specifically for Ireland, is cheaper, but apparently has less integrations than Xero. Again, would I need them anyway?

    My accountant has suggested that Surf may be better but purely because he doesn't have any knowledge or experience of Xero yet.

    I did avail of the free trial of Xero but to be honest without my accountant setting it up for me it all looked quite daunting! It's a million miles away from XL spreadsheets with my lack of knowledge. There seems an awful lot to learn in some respects but there is also probably a lot I could ignore that isn't relevant to me but I have no idea what bits I need & what I don't!

    I could do the trial with Surf too but feel I'd have the same issue there.

    Could anyone please give any advice on how to choose between them? I don't mind paying more for Xero if it would be a benefit to have the extra functionality, but no point throwing money away if I don't!